Afternoon tea and gin are two of my very favourite thing, so when I heard that 1565 at Park Regis did a Hendricks Afternoon Tea, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday. Dave and I both had the day off, so we booked in to give the afternoon tea a try.
Rather than the traditional tea, the Hendricks Afternoon Tea is served with a cocktail. The Hendricks cocktail is Hendricks gin, jasmine tea and elderflower syrup, in a tea pot. The cocktail was very light and refreshing. Definitely deadly though, as it wasn’t boozy tasting at all. Dave and I both really enjoyed it, which is saying something, as Dave isn’t a gin fan as a rule, or much of a drinker at all. You can add tea or coffee to the afternoon tea as well, and the staff checked in on us regularly to make sure we were suitably decaffeinated. 1565 serve Starbucks coffee, which I will admit to not being the biggest fan of, but I had a pretty decent latte.
Before the main event, we were brought out an amuse bouche, with smoked salmon on rye bread and a chicken liver parfait in a green crisp cornety thing, which looked like alien deelyboppers, but were super delicious. The salmon was gorgeous, but we were both amazed by the parfait. It was light, and creamy with a good strong flavour of chicken liver. Whatever was in the cones was a great complement to it.
The Hendricks Afternoon Tea itself is presented very simply, on a two tier slate board. The simple presentation worked perfectly, allowing the bright colours and pretty pastries to pop. The whole tea is inspired by the botanicals in the Hendricks gin, so there’s a lot of cucumber, elderflower and rose, as well as the classic afternoon tea flavours.
First, the sandwiches. We had four kinds; Cucumber & Mint Cream Cheese, Honey Roast Gammon Ham with Dijon Mustard, Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish &Tomato in a Brioche Bun and a Smoked Salmon & Chive Crème Fraîche Wraps. The bread was fluffy, the wrap was packed full of salmon but the real standout was the beef brioche rolls. The beef was cooked to a perfect rare, and was really tender. The kick from the horseradish was a really nice contrast against the sweet brioche bun.
There were two kinds of scones, which made me very happy. The savoury scone was Cheese and Chive, served with Maldon Sea Salt Butter. The cheese flavour came through beautifully and the butter was a triumph. It was so well whipped it looked almost like cream, and was salty enough to provide a nice flavour with the scone. Still warm, inside, the fruit scone was my favourite. I piled on the clotted cream and the jam and was in scone heaven.
The pastries were designed by 1565’s pastry chef, and are handmade on site every day. There were all so pretty, and colourful, and looked so enticing. We had a Rose & Gin Macaroon, Cucumber & Rose Cupcake, Elderflower Chocolate Opera Cake, Chocolate & Cucumber Tart and a Cucumber and Rose Delice.
Each pastry was so tasty, and so well flavoured. The Macaroon was my favourite, which has a strong rose flavour, almost like Turkish Delight. The cucumber cupcake was like a good carrot cake. Savoury, and moist, with sweet cream cheese icing. The opera cake was rich and chocolatey, without tipping into being sickly. Dave’s favourite, the white chocolate tart was baked in some of the most delicate pastry I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get much cucumber taste from this, but the white chocolate was fantastic. The Delice was somehow incredibly strongly cucumber flavoured. It was tasty, but definitely unusual, and I think the small piece was exactly the right serving size. Any more would have been just too much cucumber.
The 1565 restaurant is such a relaxed vibe, with chic furniture, funky light fittings and low music. It was relatively quiet when we went in, but it didn’t feel empty, as the restaurant is divided into clear ‘zones’ or the bar, the lounge and the main restaurant, allowing the staff to seat people so it feels busier. Dave and I were both super relaxed by the time we left, as it was so calming in there! The staff were polite, friendly, and knowledgeable, talking us through each element of the Hendricks Afternoon Tea and checking up on us throughout without hovering.
We were both thoroughly impressed by 1565 and the Hendricks Afternoon Tea. It was the perfect birthday treat. I’d definitely like to go back and test out the main menu, as what I could see being eaten on other tables looked delicious!
The Hendricks Afternoon Tea was booked and paid for entirely by ourselves. 1565 and Park Regis didn’t know I was a blogger. All opinions are entirely honest and my own.